By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer
They dance in and out of our lives. Some are with us ever-so-briefly, and we serve as merely a staging area for the next chapter in their lives. Others stay a while longer, hoping for a chance at a shiny new life. But whether their stays are long or short, each of these dogs has an impact on the volunteers.
They each leave an impression on us. We only hope that we have a similar impact on them. They don’t have to remember all the small touches that make their lives better—the long walks, the car rides, the laps, sufficient food, soft blankets, new toys, new friends—we simply hope they remember that a turning point occurred in their lives when they arrived in ours.
Nobody ever promised Caper that life was fair. And it’s not. It’s not fair that this older German shepherd is in need of a new home in his senior years. At some point in his past, he was a family pet, and, we’d like to think, loved. But somewhere along the line, that must have changed because he was found as a stray. No, we never promised him that life was fair but we did promise him that we would find him a permanent home of his own. And we are planning to keep that promise.
And the need is more acute now that his buddy Ladybird has gone into foster care. That’s her in the car the day she headed out. Yep, she is now soaking up all the attention. No sharing required. And it’s all about her—her walks, her toys, her food, her games, her foster mom.
This adult beagle will make an appearance at the shelter every Tuesday from 4 to 5, where she will greet anyone who wants to meet her. She also can be at the shelter on other days if you call and let us know when it’s convenient for you. In the meantime, we will see how she blossoms in a home environment. Three cheers for foster care.
If it were a movie, meeting Kain would be called a “coming attraction.” As it is, it’s a chance to see him in a structured, happy, busy environment. This strapping young boy is part German shepherd, Rottweiler and boxer. He is just over a year old and is getting the amount of exercise his youth and breeds require. Kain is in a boarding/training facility. The facility’s owner has had the chance to evaluate him in detail and she will be happy to share this information with you. Prospective owners are invited to meet him and FFD will pay for any training (for dog and person) during this prospective process.
We refer to them as “bulletin board dogs,” which means they are still in their own homes (not at the shelter) but need new homes. The most recent such dog is Franklin, a 3-year-old male Lab/boxer mix. Of medium size at 46 pounds, this boy has about a bazillion attributes: he walks well on leash, loves long walks, car rides, tennis balls, playing with the hose, is good with other dogs (he is living with a poodle), knows many commands, is housebroken and not destructive, and emits “happy howls” when you return from a sojourn—even if it’s only down to the store and back. We could go on but you get the picture. We can make arrangements if you’d like to meet him.
And don’t forget to check our website for updates. It often happens that after we go to press with this column, we get a call about a dog needing to be rehomed. When that happens, we post it on our website immediately.
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We want to remind you of our 2014 calendars. Those of you who follow our news will see some of the dogs you read about in 2013. Once orphans, now in families, these dogs represent the fine animals we help each and every day. Calendars are now $10 each and every penny of the profit will support our adoption and medical programs. Surely you can use a nice calendar!
And what supplies do we need? We’re glad you asked. We can always use martingale collars and dog beds (preferably with removable, washable covers); good quality canned dog food; chicken jerky strips (made in USA only, please); and Kong toys. Oh, and volunteers and foster homes, as long as we’re on the subject.
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Come meet the dogs in person and get to know the volunteer crews. Stop by and stay awhile. Walk a dog or just sit with a dog. It’s not often that small gestures can have such large impacts. Every hour you invest in helping our dogs will yield tremendous dividends. You may not see the results, but trust us when we say the dogs are helped immeasurably. You can be part of readying them for new homes and new lives.